1. Cash is king
When business is strong, you have the cash flow necessary to support an advertising campaign. Business is, by its very nature, cyclical. Even the strongest company has its down periods—it’s merely a question of when they’ll hit and how long they’ll last.
By spending during your high cycles, you’re positioned to be able to reach your target customers even when money is tight. That means you’re more likely to shorten the duration of your low periods and get back to business as usual. You’re also operating on a budget more appropriate to your needs, rather than trying to do more with less and seeing disappointing results.
Keeping up a continuous marketing program will help you stay afloat during the inevitable ebbs caused by the economy, market changes and erratic consumer behavior.
2. High pressure yields low rewards
Operating from a defensive position rarely yields the dividends you’re looking for. What it does generate is frustration and disappointment—and sometimes worse.
Consistent marketing, on the other hand, allows businesses to maintain a solid client base. In turn, that allows everyone in your organization—from sales to marketing to executive leadership—to think more clearly and more freely. And that’s when the magic happens.
3. Current customers matter, too
Adding a customer to your fold is only the beginning of your relationship. The sale should never be viewed as the end game.
Once a client is part of your system, he or she is using your product or service and is interacting with members of your team. Even if that interaction is brief, it doesn’t have to be merely transactional.
Your current clients can become your advocates—adjunct sales people who offer testimonials or case studies and are willing to preach your business’s gospel to their colleagues and peers.
Survey your clients to understand their needs more deeply and get a better understanding of how they learned about you and chose to work with you. Analyzing their behavior enables you to tailor your marketing to prospects accordingly, making your future efforts more effective.
It’s also crucial to remember that even longtime customers might not know about—or remember—the various additional products and services you provide. Soft-selling techniques, such as webinars, e-newsletters and events, allow you to stay top of mind with current clients and keep them up to date on all your business has to offer.
4. Timing is everything
Marketing and sales work in cycles; it generally takes some time before a prospect becomes a customer.
Marketing and advertising typically don’t “make” a prospect want a product or service for which he or she isn’t yet ready. Instead, marketing creates brand awareness, gets prospects thinking and asking questions, and lays the groundwork for account representatives to have more productive conversations.
The best marketing stimulates an emotional response in a prospect that makes your brand more memorable and calls that prospect to a particular action.
5. Marketing and sales go hand in hand
These two disciplines are co-dependent and equally important.
Marketing must be measurable and accountable for generating warm leads and making sales happen.
If you wait to support your sales team until it’s struggling, your marketing efforts will need more time to come to fruition.Instead of starting on solid ground, you’re digging out of a 6-foot hole.
The best practice is to develop a marketing strategy for your company that aligns to your operational plan and growth goals over a three- to five-year period. Then, outline your tactics for your next fiscal year and tweak them for subsequent years according to any changes in your big-picture plan.
A consistent marketing plan is a must to keep your company from falling behind competitor brands. Even if business is strong today, tomorrow’s changes and challenges are right around the corner.
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